Hardik's All-Round Performance Helps India beat Ireland by 7 Wickets

IND Vs IRE: Amid constant rain, the match was reduced to 12 overs per side following which batters struck hard beating the hosts by 7 wickets.
Hardik's All-Round Performance Helps India beat Ireland by 7 Wickets
Hardik's All-Round Performance Helps India beat Ireland by 7 Wickets

By: Mohit Sinhal

IND Vs IRE: IPL title-winning captain Hardik Pandya continued his winning streak as a skipper in Indian colors too. In the first T20I against Ireland at Malahide, Dublin; India raced to the 7-wicket victory powered by some fireworks by batters and a fizzy bowling display by Yuzvendra Chahal and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

After opting to field first, Hardik and company did quite well in powerplay dismissing both Irish openers; Paul Stirling and Andrew Balbirnie.

Bhuvneshwar showed a perfect display of swing bowling in the first over shattering the top of the off-stump sending the Irish skipper back to the hunt. Then, it was some class hitting by Harry Tector who smashed 64* runs in 33 balls comprising of 6 fours and 3 sixes.

Thanks to his top-notch counter-attack, the hosts reached a total of 108/4 in 12 overs of the game. Chahal was the talking point of the innings registering a figure of (1/11) in full-quota of 3 overs allotted.

Riding on some furious hitting by Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda, and skipper Hardik Pandya; India chased the target with 29 balls to spare and 7 wickets in hand.

IND Vs IRE: Hooda and Pandya’s hitting guided India to victory

Hooda and Pandya’s hitting guided India to victory
Hooda and Pandya’s hitting guided India to victory

Coming out on a chase, India went on to the flier with man-in-form Ishan Kishan blazing the shots all over in ‘the Village’ ground. He scored 26 runs in 11 balls with 3 fours and 2 sixes and shared 30 runs in just 2.4 overs with Hooda who was promoted as an opener instead of Ruturaj Gaikwad.

Coming in from injury, Suryakumar got a leg before wicket out on the first ball which reduced India to 35/2 after 3 overs. Craig Young picked both the batters on the consecutive balls.

Hardik came in at number 4 and stroked at a strike rate of 200. In a 12-balls outing, Pandya filed 24 runs with 3 sixes and a four in it. He shared a 64-run stand with Hooda for the 3rd wicket before Little trapped him with an in-swinger.

But stand-in-opener Hooda had no stopping. He took on the merciful Irish bowling attack where the arrival of off-spinner Andy McBrine proved costly for Balbirnie.

The offie was smashed for 3 sixes by Hooda and Pandya following which they picked Joshua Little for slaughtering and slammed 16 runs.

In the 10th over, Hooda belted two fours on the trot to complete the proceedings and helped India to take a 1-0 lead in a two-match series.

IND Vs IRE: Amazing bowling display by India upsets the hosts

With some ruthless demonstration of bowling by the Indian group, they kept the Irish attack under the run rate of 10 per over. In powerplay itself, they managed to pick out 3 of the batters which included the prized wicket of Paul Stirling in it.

The on-slaught of Tector could have been more costly if Chahal wouldn’t have been there. The star leggie kept the flamboyant under the control and ensured a chasable target to the Indian batters.

Pace sensation Umran Malik who got his first T20 cap proved ineffective against spirited Ireland. He went on for 14 runs in his one-over spell.

Bhuvneshwar ended his spell at (1/16) which included his first over masterclass.

The second and the final match will now be a do-or-die match for the hosts while visitors will look to clinch the series and visit England with pride.

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